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How I changed my 05's Front Wheel Bearing


ShawnTRD

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2005 Explorer Limited
02 Mountaineer, 2WD. Symptoms were a humming noise over 35 mph, goes away with left turns, gets louder with right turns, ever present on straight-aways. Swear I could feel subtle vibration in steering wheel when making right turns. I assumed it was a bad front driver side hub bearing. Replaced it this morning (bolts were easy, prying off hub was not). Noise remains!!! Did I mis-diagnose this?

By the way, I've checked all wheels for "free-play", none budged when yanked at 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock, so if a bad hub remains, it's not obvious...

Did I replace the wrong bearing??? How did other people diagnose which bearing was bad?
The 2 or 3 bad wheelbearing my wife had you could jack the wheel up and it was loose.
 


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nmuzzatti

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I took mine off last friday to see if it was bad and after fighting with the 3 bearing bolts I realized I could turn the steering wheel and make it MUCH easier.

I hope to get a new hub this friday and replace mine. Bought it on Ebay. SKF brand.
I found out the cheap ones at AutoZone are Chinese made.
I'm a newb, but I saw this post and just wanted to remind everyone of something we forget about in our daily lives. Regarding the turning the steering wheel part, I am always reminded of my buddy's saying; "You just gotta be as smart as the thing you're working with". I'll remember your post when/if it comes time to replace my bearing(s). Thanks!
 




Top Jimmy

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Great Write Up

Just finished LF Wheel Bearing on my '02 EB V8 4x4 with 149K on the clock. Only a few missteps, most were predictable (and avoidable) but nevertheless I am done. The most helpful information in the thread seems to be the use of the 13-15 mm offset box-end wench. Perhaps the most debated is the size of the axle nut. Mine required a deep-well 30mm.

I have read of some who speak of the bolts backing out with ease, but most tell of pain-staking turn every step of the way. Mine was the latter. Only one of the three (the rear-lower) came out even remotely "easy" and that was after fighting every quarter turn the first half of the threads. The second, the front-lower, came out, but every turn was dreadfully forceful. But, it was the last (let's call it the top or highest) didn't loosen up and got to the point where I could no longer get the marvelous box-end on it. Tired and frustrated, I begin to think of alternatives.

I recalled having read (here an other place) about cutting the bolts for very easy removal of the hub. I didn't fully understand the technique until I was forced to implement it. If your replacement hub included new bolts, you may want to utilize the bolt cutting method. I had great success and see no reason to use this technique - but am open for discussion should any of you voice concerns.

The process goes like this: After loosing all three of the hub bolts, you should be able to separate the hub from the knuckle. This is because there are no threads in the knuckle, only in the hub. Once you establish a gap between the knuckle and hub flange, you can actually see the bolt - this is where to cut. When you cut the bolt between the hub and knuckle, one half of the bolt (with threads) remains in the old hub which does not matter since it is scrap anyway. But, because it is not threaded, the other half of the bolt can be easily pushed out through the back of the knuckle. I used a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade and was through the bolt in the less than a minute.

If anyone else has used this method, I would like to hear of your success or failure. Just reply or PM me.
 




apanepinto

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I feel your pain

Replacing a front wheel bearing on a 2005 Ford Explorer

Use a three prong wheel puller, push back the half shaft while the hub is still bolted in. That gives you all the acces in the world to the three mounting bolts. Use the 15/13mm craftsman ten point offset wrench as recomended later in this chat. GET THE PULLER!


Needs:

• Replacement wheel bearing assembly (see discussion)
• medium flat blade screwdriver
• ¾" socket
• 30mm socket
• 18mm socket (see discussion)
• 15mm socket
• Breaker bar
Torque Wrench
• Appropriate ratchet for sockets
• Coathanger
• Softface mallet
• Penetrating spray (I use Liquid Wrench)
• Antiseize compound

Optional but recommended:

• 2005-2006 Ford Service DVD
• Work light
• ¼” Air impact ratchet
• Doodad that can press the halfshaft out
• Another working vehicle
• A safe way to work from under the vehicle (see discussion)
• Large loading dose of valium
• Someone else to take over



Initially:

I consider myself to be an intermediately advanced mechanic. I have removed and installed motors and transmissions, I just don’t enjoy it now like I used to when I was younger. I consider this to be a basic-level repair.

This really isn’t a how-to so much as it is a how-don’t. Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have attempted this without more tools. Having read another how-to on an older model, I truly thought it would be a straightforward procedure, but I was mistaken. Firstly, the bolts that hold the bearing assembly on are very, very hard to remove. Most bolts are rough for the first 3-4 turns, then you can turn them by hand. On mine, it was necessary to crank each one out all the way. Secondly, these bolts are located directly behind the bearing. This means you have to hunch over the top of the hub and strain your back. Had I known this, I would maybe have tried to figure out a way to do this from under the car and facing the back side, a more direct shot. You can’t really just turn the wheel back and forth for the third reason – there is very, very little clearance between the bolt heads and the cv drive shaft. You need to use a thin walled socket. I wound up going through 3 before I found one that would clear.

Then, the head of all of my ratchets wouldn’t fit directly onto the socket. A 4” extension is too long. Using that flexible thingy is about out, too. You have to apply a great deal of force, and when I tried it, I wound up accidentally flipping it and banging myself into things much harder than my knuckles. Another trip out found a 2” extension that worked. If you had that and an air ratchet, I believe I could have knocked 30 minutes off the procedure, and saved most of my knuckle skin.

The final issue was the halfshaft. The splines refused to pull out of the bearing. 15 minutes of malletwork produced zero results. I finally got a sledge and tapped it out. I was careful to not bend the joint too much, but I don’t think I would recommend that method to anyone else (Ford says don’t tap on it at all). I later saw a picture of something with fingers that attach to the bearing flange, and has a center screw that you tighten and apply force to the halfshaft, that would have knocked (pardon the pun) twenty minutes off the procedure and ran a much lesser risk of mushrooming the end of the halfshaft or damaging any of the cv joints or whatever the halfshaft snuggles into on the other end. Having said all that, lets’ begin:

First –

Prepare your work area. I find myself running back and forth way too much, and then have to go into town at least twice (hence the call for a working vehicle in the tool list). Gather what you’ll need and put it where you don’t have to get up or hunt for it, but don’t crowd yourself. If you do, you could slip or trip, or if something goes south, your escape path might be blocked. I also recommend a work lamp. Even outside, it can be dark inside the wheelwell. It doesn’t have to be a million candlepower, but I do recommend it can survive a drop to the floor.

I also recommend washing the vehicle before you start. Disk brake and off-road vehicles get nasty down there. That crap gets on everything and makes it hard to hold onto stuff. Plus, some of that dust might not be healthy for you. A little cleaning now can save you a lot of grief later.

Start by popping the hood. No, we’re not going to extract the bearing from the backside, but the wheel speed sensor plugs into its’ socket inside the engine compartment where you can’t reach it from the wheelwell, forcing you later to either cut its’ cable off or climb up onto the truck and hope it doesn’t fall off the jackstands.

Here is Fords’ neat drawing of it, snug in its’ home aft of and below the battery, near the frame rail (I don’t know where it was on the passenger side):

clip_image001.gif


Here is a photo of where I found it. I added the arrow and inset:

plug.jpg


Notice there is a tab at the top, you have to depress it to separate the halves. Don’t ‘help’ it with a screwdriver.

Remove the lug nut cover with a medium to large flat bladed screwdriver, and break loose the lug nuts. Break loose the center axle retainer nut with the 30mm socket.

THEN –

Jack up the vehicle. Blah blah in neutral, wheels chocked, be safe, etc. etc. You know the drill. Finish removing the center nut, or at least get it to the point where you can spin it off. Or else, when you get the tire off, its’ going to be an uphill battle holding that bearing flange still while you try to crank that nut the rest of the way off. Do not accidentally hit your friend who is trying to hold the flange in the face as I did (sorry Robbie). After removing the lug nuts and the tire, put the tire under the frame. Read ahead to find all the bolts involved, and douse them liberally with the penetrating spray.

NOW –

You should be here:

wheel1.jpg


There are two crinkly washers applied to the lug studs on this vehicle, apparently to help hold the disk onto the wheel assembly. I am certain there probably is something I should know about them, but they were such a pain in the ass I wound up getting cutters and just cutting them off. The Ford DVD never said anything about them, and there weren’t any replacements in the Ford kit I bought.

NEXT –

Prepare your coathanger. Untwist it and stretch it out. Find something solid as far back on the right side of the wheelwell as you can get. I picked something more in the middle, and it wound up constantly dangling in my way.

Unclip the many fasteners that hold the sensor cable to the brake line. Remember how they go. (BIG hint, remember how that sensor wire snakes around the caliper. You will see that again later.)

Take the 18mm, get behind the caliper and remove the two bolts.

caliper.jpg


This is a photo hunched over the wheel assembly looking straight down. Your target is the bolt marked with the white arrow (there are two, one above, and one [not pictured] below). Don’t mistake it for the one the red arrow points to. That’s a slider to compensate for pad width.

After removing both of the caliper bolts, take your mallet, and carefully tap the top of the caliper towards the right until you can see the top bolthole. Thread the coathanger you tied off earlier through this, and pull the slack out as you continue to tap the caliper loose. Tie it off and let the coathanger support the weight of the caliper, NOT the hose. Do not bend the brake line any more than you need to. You may need to separate the wheel sensor line from the caliper a little at this point. They just unsnap from each other.

Now, take the disk off. Look at it. If it is deeply scored or discolored on either side, you might consider getting it turned down or replacing it. Same for the brake pads. If they are thin, your next job might be a pad replacement.

FINALLY –

Comes the bad part. Using all your mojo, figure out a way to remove the three bolts holding the !@#$%%^ bearing assembly on.

nuts.jpg


In the above photo, two of the three are marked by white arrows. I apologize for the cocked perspective, but its’ pretty cramped in there. We are looking down and back from the front bumper. The red arrow points to the tie rod end, and the green arrow points towards the floor. This also shows my earlier attempt to use a knuckle adaptor and breaker bar to remove those bolts, which didn’t work very well at all. With this setup, you could only turn maybe a quarter turn at a time. That bolt is at least two and a half inches long – you do the math!

It was bad enough that I gave up. Here is a picture of a buddy that came to rescue me:

robbie.jpg


See how hunched over he is? That’s why I say that figuring out a way to do it from the other side would be the way to go next time, and using an air wrench. Yes, that is a lot of light, but note to the left my initial lamp that I dropped and broke.

ONCE –

You get the bolts loose, you should be ready to remove the bearing assembly. Ford specs out a special tool in their DVD (Remover, front wheel hub, 205-D070 (D93P-1175-B)), and maybe you could rent something similar from one of the big box parts stores. I am definitely going to look next time. Once you get the assembly off, clean the mating surfaces using some degreaser and a razor knife, and apply some anti-seize. Because it was difficult to push the new bearing on, we decided to put some on the splines, too. I don’t know if that’s ok, but it is what we did and it worked for us.

The kit I bought came from Ford, and it was only around ten or so more dollars than from one of the big boxes. My kit came with all new bolts, and a preinstalled speed sensor. It even had a replacement holder for the sensor wire mounting location above the shock absorber.

The box said it was p/n 4L2Z 1104 AA and if I recall correctly, it was around $170. Assembly pretty much really is the reverse of disassembly. Torque the bearing bolts equally. Run the center nut back on there as best you can. Ford specifies a new nut, but the kit didn’t have one. So, I used the old one. Hope my wheel doesn’t fall off. Install the rotor, having cleaned your greasy pawprints off of it so you don’t contaminate the disc pad linings. Correctly routing the sensor wire, reinstall the caliper.

Clip the sensor wire back up the brake line, then put the tire on and hand-tighten the nuts. Lower the car, torque the nuts (DON’T forget the center nut!!) and reinstall the cover. Finally, reinstall the sensor connector halves.

That should be it! Oh - the torque specs are: center nut (184 lb-ft), the caliper bolts (24 lb-ft), and lug nuts (100 lb-ft) according to Ford. I couldn’t find the specs for the bearing bolts.


-Shawn
 




unc25

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Ok well lets start off by saying Thank You to the OP and the other contributors!

I would like to mention that I have a 2wd so things were a little easier for me. I needed to replace the driver's side hub and did a ton of research, but was in a time crunch so I decided to go with a hub from my local advance auto parts store (less than 2 mins away). I started looking online and noticed that they were having a sale so I picked up the National brand hub for $160 in store.

From everything I read online, the national brand hub was supposed to be American made, but the box and the hub are clearly stamped made in China...maybe I got had. Part numbers and everything matched up. Came with the ABS sensor attached and new bolts with the infamous yellow threadlock applied.

Let me note that it was 10 degrees outside and I wanted to start early to give me plenty of time.
Removal was pretty straight forward...the bearing bolts were tough, but nothing like the problems you guys experienced. Upon attaching the new bearing I noticed one thing that may pose a problem to others....The bearing bolts that came in the box are 16mm and the caliper bolts are 18mm....The factory bolts that I removed were all 15mm (bearing and caliper). Unfortunately I reused the caliper mounting bolts, after I cleaned them up and re-applied anti-seize. I just couldnt find the 18mm socket or wrech any where!

2 things that were extremely helpful during the removal were the RUBBER MALLET and PB Blaster! Just adding my 2 cents here.
 




nygbrad

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Has anyone bought a wheel bearing from 1AAuto? I replaced the LF about 6 months ago and it seems to be making noise again. I haven't had time to check everything out yet but was concerned about the brand they sell. It has a 2 year warranty so I am not worried about getting another one.
 




fusseli

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02 Mounty

Spent today doing my driver's side. Now no more grinding in left turns! Did my front pads and rotors at the same time, too. Used the Motorcraft kit that comes with new bolts, so we just cut the hub bolts as someone else suggested after getting about 1/4" of seperation from the knuckle (used a sawzall). The bolts were tough to turn, but not unmanageable. Coated them in liquid wrench a week before and also used the offset boxends from Harbor Freight, both helped a lot. My axle nuts are the 29mm, they were cake to loosten and torque down with a breaker bar and 3ft cheater.

Had a pretty big snag though, the axle was seized solid into the bearing. The crappy parts-store loaner 3-jaw puller would slip off as soon as I started really torquing it, nobody in town seemed to have the "FWD" hub puller that bolts on with the lugs. Tried some pounding with a rubber mallet and tried the slide-hammer type of hub puller but got nowhere, and was afraid of damaging the axle or diff. Wasted a couple hours trying different things. Finally, got a giant 3-jaw puller from a friend of a friend who's a mechanic for an excavation company. Took 2 minutes to press the axle out with that thing, the axle would kind of pop along with each good turn-- which took a decent amount of torque. The splines were covered in rust, the black RTV Ford decided to cake on the hub didn't do jack to keep that from happening.

The hub overall really wasn't that bad of a job, wouldn't have taken us more than an hour total even with the seized axle-- if we'd have had a good puller from the start. The cutting of the 3 hub bolts is definately the speedy and pain-free way to go, provided that you got a kit with new bolts. The only thing that I wasn't able to do proper was get my torque wrench onto the 3 hub bolts themselves. Both of us grunted on them as best we could and called it good.
 
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forcemac

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RockAuto.com prices are:

National P/N 515050 is $175
SKF P/N BR930456 is $173 (bolts not illustrated on SKF catalog page)
Timken P/N SP470200 is $144 (bolts not illustrated on Timken catalog page)

Ford OEM one:

P/N 4L2Z1104AA is $174 (online Dealer price) MSRP is $241.28

All include the ABS sensor/cable. Only the National one from RockAuto shows the bolts, but I have also heard that the Ford OEM one includes the bolts.

Which one to choose?
If i were to order the TIMKENs from Rockauto, how do I get the bolts? Assuming they don't come with the kit, since they are not pictured.

I am USAF, living in Britain, and I need to make sure I have all the pieces before I do this. I wanted to order the OEM kit from ford, but I had my father stop by his local dealership and they want $290 a piece for these things...

Anyone order this TIMKENS from Rock Auto?
 




10grw

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Forcemac,
I bought 2 Timken Front-end assemblies from e-bay member 'discountautoparts' for $127.74 each - SP470200. Ordered last Friday 10.30am arrived next day 2.30pm. I installed both yesterday and everything is running great and no ABS light! That's after replacing the original hubs with Chinese-made hubs also bought from an e-bay member 10 months/10,000 miles ago. Yesterday went a lot quicker than the first time, though it's really just following the advice of the guys on this forum. Without them I wouldn't have tried it.
Also, bought a Pressure Transducer ($23) switch from Rockauto last Friday thinking that might solve the ABS light problem - still waiting for delivery.
None of my hubs came with new bolts , so just cleaned and reused old ones - everything went smooth. Hope this helps. All the best.
 




fusseli

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If i were to order the TIMKENs from Rockauto, how do I get the bolts? Assuming they don't come with the kit, since they are not pictured.

I am USAF, living in Britain, and I need to make sure I have all the pieces before I do this. I wanted to order the OEM kit from ford, but I had my father stop by his local dealership and they want $290 a piece for these things...

Anyone order this TIMKENS from Rock Auto?
If I do the other front on my Mounty I'll for sure be buying the Motorcraft hub again (got mine from Rockauto also). The new bolts offer good piece of mind and allow for cutting of old bolts for fast removal.
 




Oldwolf

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Best price on the Timken SP470200 Front Hub Assembly that I have found is about $125 shipped from StockWiseAuto on Ebay. These do not come with the three bolts.

The "BOLT FRONT HUB" is Ford part #1L2Z1107AA and at SilverStateFordParts they are $6.64 a piece, $52.79 with shipping for 6.

Their price for the the Ford OEM hub assembly (with bolts - I verified this) is $188.22, $423.50 for 2 with shipping.

I need both front hubs so I am going to order soon, once I figure out if I can get the bolts cheaper somewhere.

Bottom line is:
$250 for two hubs from StockWiseAuto
$53 for the bolts from Ford.

About $303 for Timken Hubs and Ford bolts.

This is the best I can find for OEM parts...so far.
 




fusseli

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Best price on the Timken SP470200 Front Hub Assembly that I have found is about $125 shipped from StockWiseAuto on Ebay. These do not come with the three bolts.

The "BOLT FRONT HUB" is Ford part #1L2Z1107AA and at SilverStateFordParts they are $6.64 a piece, $52.79 with shipping for 6.

Their price for the the Ford OEM hub assembly (with bolts - I verified this) is $188.22, $423.50 for 2 with shipping.

I need both front hubs so I am going to order soon, once I figure out if I can get the bolts cheaper somewhere.

Bottom line is:
$250 for two hubs from StockWiseAuto
$53 for the bolts from Ford.

About $303 for Timken Hubs and Ford bolts.

This is the best I can find for OEM parts...so far.

Also note that the Ford hub kit comes with 2 new caliper bolts in addition to the 3 hub ones.
 




Oldwolf

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If I do the other front on my Mounty I'll for sure be buying the Motorcraft hub again (got mine from Rockauto also). The new bolts offer good piece of mind and allow for cutting of old bolts for fast removal.
What part number did you order from RockAuto? Did the 3 bolts come with it? I see something called a MOTORCRAFT Part # HUB67 for $167. Is that it?
 




fusseli

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What part number did you order from Rockauto. Did the 3 bolts come with it? I see something called a MOTORCRAFT Part # HUB67 for $167. Is that it?
Ya that's the one. Comes with 5 new bolts, 2 for the brake caliper and the 3 for the hub.
 




Oldwolf

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OK then. It was described as a "kit" so that threw me off.

RockAuto is $344.45 with shipping for two. That sounds the best so far.
 




fusseli

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OK then. It was described as a "kit" so that threw me off.

RockAuto is $344.45 with shipping for two. That sounds the best so far.
Haha the bolts must make it a kit! Another advantage of the Ford kit is that the bolts come with the yellow threadlocker already applied, not sure if they would or not if they were purchased seperately.
 




Oldwolf

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And 4L2Z1104AA appears to be the part number for the front hub for the 4x4. 4L2Z1109AA is the rear hub.
 
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IAmTodd

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I'm working on replacing the passenger front in my '03. I got the hub nut off and the 3 retaining bolts off with little drama. I was thankful for that after reading some posts. The hub seems to be seized to the knuckle though. I've tried using a sledge hammer, crow bar (pretty much took the bed out of it) but it will not even wiggle. I have it soaking in PB Blaster now but I don't think that is going to help much.

Do you guys have any suggestions on how to get it out?
 




xlt03

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Did you use the puller? Flange has 3 holes that attaches to the lug bolts and the center pressure screws pushes against the axle shaft. The net effect is the shaft gets pushed towards the motor. I believe you can "rent" it from Autozone, O'Reilly's. If you used a sledgehammer and went to town by banging it inwards you may have damaged the CV joint if yours is a 4WD. Keep us posted.
 


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IAmTodd

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The half shaft easily tapped out with a small hammer, I doubt I put enough force on it to damage the CVs. It slide freely on the splines now. The half inch or so that sticks out of the back of the bearing seems to be stuck in the knuckle though. I haven't checked on it this morning but hopefully the PB Blaster did something last night.
 




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P Cleaned injectors and changed plugs now truck will not crank.. Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 0
H Changed tires now jumpy on acceleration Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 12
E changed battery = no trottle Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 1
D Changed T-Case with Castrol Mercon V, bad? Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 10
A Rear Struts Changed,now rear axle noise Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 5
R changed fuel pump Advance Trac and ABS lights are on. Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 3
C service engine soon light , after changed new battery Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 6
B Changed DPFE, now I have cade P1401 Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 0
9 I changed my own brakes and rotors! But some questions... Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 12
B Changed plugs in 05 4.6 Eddie Bauer Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 2
shadowless127 Just changed brakes, very soft pedal -- air in the lines? Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 5
T How often do you get your oil changed? Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 26
E Transmission fluid/filter changed! Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 22
D Changed my oil for my first time last night Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 19
L Had rear end changed, $240 at Ford dealer. Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 4
T Door unlock feature - can it be changed? Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 9
B WOW, things have changed...need help! Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 10
J keyless entry - code changed? Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 14
0 2003 XLT Front metallic "popping" noise. Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 5
N Rumblng noise in front end - when rolling Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 9
L Broken Front Spider Gear?? Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers 1

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